14 September 2015 | Cave Troll

Fearless Heroes, Unsavory Creatures

Preview the Heroes and Monsters of Cave Troll


Treasures beyond the imagination of any hero have been discovered in a dungeon deep beneath the earth. Claiming these heaps of gold and priceless artifacts would be enough for any adventurer to retire—but unfortunately, this information is no secret. If you want to claim your rightful share of the treasure, you’ll need to race your opponents to claim the most gold!

Hunt for treasure in Cave Troll, a classic Tom Jolly board game for two to four players that challenges you to command both heroes and monsters in a quest to claim the treasure. In our last preview, we examined the gameplay of Cave Troll and explored the various actions available to you each turn. Today, we turn to the heroes and monsters that you must use to grab the gold and upset your opponent’s plans!

Old Tricks

You’ll find two distinct games within Cave Troll: the classic game and the variant game. Although there are no gameplay changes between the classic game and the variant game, the heroes and monsters that you command feature some significantly different abilities. 

In the classic game, you have access to a wide variety of heroes that can help you seize the treasure trove. Adventurers are the standard hero that makes up most of your forces; Adventurers have no special abilities to help you, but the sheer number of Adventurers at your disposal makes them essential for spreading your reach across multiple rooms. 

You can claim more gold from the dungeon with the Dwarf , Barbarian , Thief , and Treasure Chest figures. The Dwarf doubles the gold value of its room when his room is scored, bringing significantly more gold into your coffers. The Barbarian counts as two heroes when a room is scored and refuses to flee under any circumstances, which can tip a room into your control. The Thief can move to any room or staircase in the dungeon as a single action, allowing her to swiftly bypass dangers and claim rooms in the farthest reaches of the dungeon. Finally, you may play the Treasure Chest figure to add four gold to any room’s gold value, making it much more valuable to you—if you can claim it!

Other figures help you lock down key rooms and keep your opponents from scoring them. The Knight prevents opposing characters from entering his room, except for enemy Knights. In addition, the Knight can slay Orcs to protect your own heroes. If you desperately need to keep your opponent from scoring a room, you may unleash your Cave Troll . When the Cave Troll is played, each opponent can move one figure out of the chamber. All figures that remain in the room are destroyed and no characters can enter the Cave Troll’s room for the rest of the game, declaring the room effectively off-limits.

The other monsters at your disposal serve to disrupt your opponents’ plans. The Orc can spend actions to remove heroes from his room, perhaps slaying your opponents’ most important heroes and tipping the balance of control in key rooms. Rather than destroying enemy heroes, you may push them into sub-optimal positions by using the Wraith . When the Wraith enters a room, you can push one character from that room to an adjacent space, and by spending actions, you can push additional characters out of the Wraith’s room. 

New Dangers in the Dungeon

After you’ve played the classic game, you may want to put a twist on the traditional Cave Troll experience by playing the variant game. Although the Adventurer and Treasure Chest figures are identical to the classic game versions, each of the other heroes and monsters features fascinating new abilities.

All three of your monsters in the variant game offer powerful ways to destroy your opponents’ heroes. You may race across the map with the Banshee , who can move two spaces with a single move action, and spend actions to draw enemy characters into the Banshee’s space. You may draw multiple heroes into a single, low-gold room while your own heroes seize the gold in the surrounding chambers. Alternatively, you may use the Grunt to target your opponent’s character base—as an action, the Grunt can remove all opposing Adventurers from his room, potentially hindering several opponents at once.

Finally, you may use a Rampaging Troll to destroy your opponents’ plans. This massive beast can only move once per turn, but as an action, you can push any two characters from its room to adjacent spaces. Then, all other figures in the room are removed! With this action, you can use the Rampaging Troll to protect your own figures and defeat your foes, cutting a swath of destruction through the dungeon.

The heroes at your disposal in the Cave Troll variant game offer plenty of unique abilities and ways to counter the monsters. The Paladin protects all heroes in his room from Banshees and Grunts. What’s more, the Paladin can expend an action to banish a Banshee from his space to any pit on the board. The Assassin , conversely, preys on the living by spending actions to remove a Grunt or a hero that has wandered alone into the Assassin’s chamber. 

Unlike some other heroes, the Giant Slayer works best by staying on the move, exploring the outskirts of the dungeon. This hero gains one gold for you whenever you enter an empty room. In addition, you may remove the Giant Slayer from the game to remove a Rampaging Troll from his room, giving you a reliable way to counter the Rampaging Troll’s threat. The final hero available in the variant game is the Berserker . Unlike every other character, this hero can enter rooms that already contain five opposing characters—and when the Berserker’s room is scored, if your opponent has more heroes, he must divide the gold evenly with you!

Treasures Await

The Cave Troll classic game and variant game offer two engaging options for dungeon-delving and treasure-hunting. Command your heroes and use your monsters to undermine your oppoenents’ plans! Pre-order your copy of Cave Troll at your local retailer today.

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